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Archive - 2013











29 October 2013 - 8 December 2013

For the first time in Bulgaria is displayed the cycle of engravings The Horrors of War created by the great Spanish artist Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828). The exhibition is set up by the Cervantes Institute jointly with San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts, and its curator is Juan Bordes. Up to now the exposition has visited various centers of Instituto Cervantes round the world, such as Tokyo, Beijing, New Delhi, Warsaw, Krakow and more. The last point of the journey is Sofia, in the halls of Sofia City Art Gallery.

The exhibition includes 82 prints. The aim is to contribute to the promotion and study of this important series of prints. For this purpose, the printed works of the cycle are complemented with photographs by contemporary photo-reporters who from 1839 until now take the same anti-war approaches that, with his genius and amazing expressive power, Goya himself was taking.

The series of engravings Horrors of War (1810-1820) is conceived as an act of pacifism, by means of which the artist is not taking anybody's side, but is exposing the barbarity of the two sides in a war conflict. They are generated by the Spanish War of Independence (1808 -1814) that broke out as a reaction against the invasions of the French Emperor Napoleon. Goya is trying to go beyond the historical facts. The idea occured to him in Zaragoza, where he went at the invitation of General Palafox to report about the heroic defense of the city besieged by French troops, but instead he finds ruins.

"The Horrors" can be divided into three parts. In the first part Goya illustrates stories about real events with unquestionable authenticity, but in his prints he goes beyond the specific facts, loading them with a critical charge of more general character. In the second part the artist depicts the experience of war in the streets of Madrid, displaying the horrible year of hunger 1811, and describing war through its impact on people's daily lives. Finally, he makes a few prints in a symbolic code, that he names "categorical caprices." In them Goya focuses on the political situation in the postwar period, criticizing the establishment of absolutism and breaking off with the ideals of the Constitution.

In 1862 San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts gains the eighty plates of the cycle The Horrors of War. In the following year1863 this important series of etchings is printed for the first time. Until then The Horrors of War have been recognized only through the three available copies from the series, and through the small number of test prints, made by the great artist during his lifetime. Since then, six copies of the cycle have been printed, and the cycle itself is supplemented in 1870 with two new plates by the Frenchman Paul Lefort. Through these engravings the views of Goya on the horrors of war become known to the world.

The created therein images of his personal experiences herald to a great extent the photographic language, because they are perceived as photo shots. They miss the preconceived composition that can make them resemble arranged scenes, or can soften their heartbreaking message. Furthermore, the engravings contain areas without information - an effect that a photographer will achieve through a smear or a flash. Finally, just like in photography, Goya boosts the documentary character of the scenes through titles like "I saw it", "That too," or "It happened that way."

The eighty-two prints making up the cycle The Horrors of War are shown grouped into seven sections - The front, The Victims, The Executions, The Mass migrations and looting, The Hunger, The Woman, The Post-War Period, and do not follow the numbering of the metal plates. The aim is to outline the main themes and the ideas interwoven with them that Goya develops in the entire series.













Selected Works

23 October 2013 - 21 November 2013

The exhibition celebrates the 80th anniversary of the birth of Lyuben Dimanov – a prominent artist of diverse talents, as testified by his noteworthy contribution to various art genres and respectable presence on both the Bulgarian and the European art scenes.

Lyuben Dimanov’s art is among the most significant phenomena in Bulgarian visual arts. One of the leading figures having blazed the trail of new approaches to visual art in the 1960’s, he left a mark that contributed to the development of graphic arts and illustration in our country, creating idiosyncratic, memorable and monumental imagery. The tamed energy of his etchings or water colors, paintings, collages or illustrations move the viewer with its forcefulness and conclusiveness, as well as with the fine nuances of subtle sensitivity. Dimanov’s drawing, which is decorative and elevated, powerful and exquisite at the same time, is not only an introduction to the art of depiction, but also a bridge to spirituality.

The SCAG exhibition features selected works belonging to the genres of painting, graphic arts, drawing and collage, presenting various periods of Lyuben Dimanov’s artistic development, starting from the early 1960’s through to the present day. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a 10-piece series of paintings devoted to the ten commandments. Bibliophile editions such as “The Flowers of Evil”, “Sonnets”, “The Divine Comedy”, “When Flame and Rose Become One” are reminiscent of the highest peaks of the artist’s career in book design and illustration. Staying true to his identity in both his early works created in Bulgaria and his mature works created in Paris, the artist reveals the product of years-long artistic development, constituting a blend of expressiveness and spiritual messages.

An exhibition catalogue is available.









Krassimira Drenska Selected works 1990-2013

24 September 2013 - 20 October 2013

Krassimira Drenska was an active participant on the Bulgarian art scene during the 1970’s. Today, following a decades-long hiatus, she is presenting her work yet again to the Sofia public. The artworks, which are the result of years-long development and impressive artistic work at prestigious world renowned art centres, reveal the artist’s coming-of-age in the light of various aesthetical and artistic leanings.
Krassimira Drenska’s works are a combination of technical precision brought to exquisiteness and a palpable responsive sensitivity; the delicate presence of color and the movement of light evoke intimate emotions, while the dramatic clash between black and white evolves into a fight between spiritual values. Known to the Bulgarian public for her early work in the field of wood engraving, today the author is experimenting with mixed techniques, invariably searching for the spiritual presence of a deep emotion in contemporary vision.
The exhibition features works belonging to various periods, and the dynamics between those works shapes up the milestones in Krassimira Drenska’s development as an artist. The most prominent of these artworks are series such as “Shadows and Vanities”, “Herbarium”, “Summer Quiet”, “Drawings in Cyan”, “Katharine’s Letters”, installations featuring artists’ books. The techniques /cyanotype, pigment transfer, screen printing, drawing/, used exquisitely and freely, attach images from the artist’s intimate world the significance of messages.

Krassimira Drenska was born in Sofia in 1947.
In 1971 she graduated from the “”N. Pavlovich” Higher Institute of Visual Arts, Sofia, majoring in Graphic Arts and Book Design and Illustration.
In 1976 she became a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists. She participated actively in national exhibitions and international biennials for original graphic artwork.
In 1977/78 she received a French grant enabling her to specialize in Paris. She worked with the famous Prof. Hayter at the international Atelier 17, who introduced her to the special techniques of contemporary experimental intaglio developed by him.
In 1980 she moved to Switzerland and went on with her work there. She is married to artist DadI Wirz.
In 1980/84 she specialized at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel as a post-graduate student.
In 1984/86 she studied History of Fine Graphic Arts in London and Paris.
1985 marks the beginning of her teaching career at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel, where she went on to become an associate professor. She has been teaching screen printing techniques and history of fine graphic arts.
In 1996 she received a grant from the Ministry of Culture and Education, Basel, enabling her to specialize in the field of early photographic techniques at the University of San Antonio, Texas.
In 1999 she was a visiting assistant professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she taught drawing and an artists’ book class.
In 2000 she introduced the Artists’ Book programme at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel.
In 2002 she founded the Artists’ Book Forum which she has presided over ever since. Since then she has been the curator of and participant in 12 international artists’ book exhibitions.
She has also participated in numerous exhibitions as a freelance artist.


Groupe avec tortue 1903/1905 Aquarelle et crayon sur papier, 18,2 x 16,7 cm Collection Galerie Le Minotaure, Paris-Tel Aviv

Paysage de Tunisie 1924 Aquarelle sur toile, 30 x 28 cm Collection particulière, Luxembourg

La Petite Youyou Paris, 1924 Crayon et fusain sur papier, 52 x 40 cm Collection particulière, Paris

La Réunion, scène à Cuba, 1916 1916 Aquarelle sur papier, 11 x 16,5 cm Collection Galerie Aittouares, Paris

Geneviève à la couronne de fleurs Paris, 1929 Huile sur toile, 100 x 85 cm Collection Aktis Gallery, Londres



17 September 2013 - 21 November 2013

After a 38-year hiatus, owing to the extraordinary effort of the Embassy of France in Bulgaria, our country will host a retrospective exhibition of world famous artist Jules Pascin. It features 115 artworks belonging to the genres of painting, watercolor, drawing, graphic arts, collage, contributed by private collectors and art galleries in Paris, Luxemburg, Oslo, London and Tel Aviv.
Julius Mordecai Pincas, known as Jules Pascin, was born on 31 March, 1885 in the city of Vidin. In 1892, his family moved to Bucharest. Pascin graduated from high school in Vienna. Between 1902 and 1905 he received training at the art academies in Vienna, Budapest, Munich and Berlin. He contributed to the “Simplicissimus “ magazine published in Munich. In 1905, he moved to Paris, where he met his future wife, Hermine David. In 1907, he organized his first solo exhibition at Paul Cassirer’s gallery in Berlin. In 1914 he left for New York, where he lived until 1920. He traveled to the Southern states and Cuba. Then he went back to Paris, where he lived until his death in 1930.
In his relatively short life, Jules Pascin spent time in some of the world’s most vibrant cultural centres, namely Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Paris and New York. His art was far from being an isolated fact, it was rather part and parcel of what was going on in the first half of the 20th century. Having had a taste of the global changes in the ways art was viewed at the very turn of the century and having lived in one of the centres of artistic innovation, Vienna, he seemed to always find himself where things happened. As an active participant in the Munich and Berlin art scenes, Pascin reflected in his paintings the influence of Art Noveau, and later – of expressionism. Recognized as a genuine part of the School of Paris, the artist has invariably been associated with the Paris art scene. Having lived in the USA for seven years, where he was granted citizenship, he was the source of influence for a certain circle of American artists.
The “Jules Pascin – From Vidin to Paris“ exhibition allows insight into the artist’s rich and versatile legacy. It features plenty of drawings, a genre the artist attached great importance to. The exhibition includes early works created in 1905, when he started contributing to the Munich-based “Simplicissimus “ magazine; works created up to 1914 during his first Parisian period; 1914 –1920 works from his American period; as well as works belonging to his second Parisian period, which lasted until his death in 1930.
Pascin’s art can understood only when viewed as a whole, considering all the influences and changes internalized by him through the years. His participation in the Vienna, Munich and Berlin art scenes played an important role in the development of
his style. That is why it was essential to include drawings from this period in the exhibition. This highlights the importance of the early years, which are frequently overlooked. The inclusion of artworks from Pascin’s American period is another serious contribution of the exhibition. Besides the sketches of New York streets, there are drawings made by Pascin during his travels around the American South and Cuba, which are of particular interest as they reflect a somewhat unknown part of his legacy as an artist. They convey the immediacy and freshness of the very first impression, of drawing on the go. Yet, it is this type of artworks that clearly reveal the artist’s ability to “draw first sight portraits”, to elicit ready compositional solutions from chaotic reality, to bring the line’s dynamics and the stroke’s liveliness in tune with the rhythm of the journey. These drawings add to Pascin’s image as an artist who was hungry for the impressions created by reality, who could be inspired by a plain object, who sought for this type of inspiration, surrendered to the latter and willingly let himself be guided by it. The exhibition also features drawings made in Tunisia – another favourite destination of the artist, where he went on several occasions.
The exhibition includes artworks belonging to all major themes and genres, namely nude body, portrait, compositions based on Biblical and mythological themes, erotic drawings, illustrations, travel sketches, etc. The exhibition reveals Pascin’s legacy, duly presenting each distinct period of his artistic development. This creates a more dynamic image of the artist, and a sense of the latter’s restless and impulsive spirit and character, which drove his artistic moods in various directions and subjected the artist to different influences and tests.
The exhibition provides the opportunity to view all aspects of Jules Pascin’s artistic persona, namely the draftsman, the illustrator, the cartoonist and the painter; the master nude body, portrait, figure composition and landscape painter, the lyrical bard and the master of satire. Missing any of these aspects would make his image incomplete. Lively and dynamic as a person, he did not linger at the same place for a long time as an artist either – he was bound to search, change and alternate themes and genres. This is Jules Pascin – a restless genius, one of the most intriguing representatives of his time.

There is an exhibition catalogue in Bulgarian and French, including all artworks featured in the exhibition.

The research paper “Jules Pascin and Artistic Developments at the Turn of the 20th Century”, compiled by the exhibition’s curator Maria Vassileva was published (again in Bulgarian and French) as a separate edition.

Curator: Maria Vassileva
Exhibition team: David Weizmann, Adelina Fileva, Ilinka Chergarova, Petar Dimov, Nadezhda Danailova, Albena Charbanova, Kapka kaneva


Plamen Dejanoff. Ads (Foundation) 2013 casted bronze, wood, iron, tempera Courtesy: Galerie Emanuel Layr Vienna

Michail Michailov. ICH FERGEBE DIR (I forgife you) 2010 intervention in public space adhesive foil on copper roof, 3000 x 250 cm das weisse haus, Wollzeile 1, Vienna

Lazar Lyutakov. Shared working day (labors pathology) #1 2011 video installation, video 08:00:00 min., sound, museum guard, time Rayko Aleksiev Gallery, Sofia

Nestor Kovachev. Blue Cobblestone on The Red Square 2012 C-print, 100 x 70 cm

Vasilena Gankovska. Zapaden Park, Functionalist Architecture 2012 C-print, 140 x 90 cm


Bulgarian Artists in Vienna. Contemporary Practices at the Beginning of the 21st Century

12 September 2013 - 13 October 2013

The democratic process of opening up of Bulgaria after 1989 as well as the economic conditions of life and the lack of adequate education caused the exodus of a large part of the creative intelligentsia. Both historically and geographically the nearest attractive destination in the developed Western European world turned out to be Vienna, now seen as an gravitational center for many artists. The access to education, the well developed art system and the possibilities for integration were the decisive factor when choosing a new “homeland”. Today numerous artists of Bulgarian origin live and work successfully in Vienna. It is this vibrant and current reality that provided motivation for the exhibition.

Most of the participating artists graduated institutions for higher artistic education in Bulgaria and afterwards continued their studies in the art schools of Austria. The exhibition showcases 18 of them: Adriana Czernin (special participation), Plamen Dejanoff (special participation), Mara Mattuschka (special participation), Svetozara Aleksandrova, Borjana Ventzislavova, Vasilena Gankovska, Irina Georgieva, Nestor Kovachev, Lazar Lyutakov, Michail Michailov, Alexandar Peev, Maximilian Pramatarov, Krasimira Stikar, Kamen Stoyanov, Kosta Tonev, Iv Toshain, Desislava Unger and Sevda Chkoutova.

Parallel to their activities in Austria most of the participants maintain working contact and take an active part in the artistic process in Bulgaria. Life between two countries and contexts transforms their art into a phenomenon that is symptomatic for the changing world on the threshold between the 20th and the 21st centuries. Their art reflects on two realities – the old and the new country thus having the dynamic mark of the times we are living in.

The exhibition project “Bulgarian Artists in Vienna. Contemporary Practices at the Beginning of the 21st Century” is meant to not only present quality artworks but also to analyze certain social and historical processes that are typical for the time.

This exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Austrian Embassy in Bulgaria; with the support of the Program for Culture of the Sofia Municipality and with the technical assistance of Art Project Depot.

A catalogue of 208 pages in Bulgarian and English is published.

Project initiator: HR-Stamenov.
On this project worked: Maria Vassileva, Michail Michailov, and Daniela Radeva.













Georgi Dimitrov. quadrilateral 2013

31 July 2013 - 1 September 2013

quadrilateral 2013 is a site-specific project conceived to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Kazimierz Malewicz’s Quadrilateral, commonly known as the Black Square. The piece appeared intuitively for the first time as part of the stage design for the opera Victory over the Sun in 1913. Later, in 1915, it was displayed at the Last Futurist Exhibition 0,10 in Saint Petersburg. The painting which heralded all other suprematist forms, titled Black Suprematic Square, is now an invaluable exhibit of the State Tretyakov Gallery’s collection in Moscow.

Referring to one of the very first non-figurative concepts which brought the essence of a whole new painterly and philosophical world, the installation attempts on comprising the developments of non-objective art for the past century by reducing the physical space to a two-dimensional image. Ca. 100 sq. metres of adhesive black folio sheet is applied on the floor, walls and ceilings to recreate the notorious masterpiece.

Georgi Dimitrov (b. 1980) is an artist whose work is based on the principles of non-objective and constructive art. In 2010 he founded the nonsofia association - a non-profit entity that offers institutional support for non-objective art in Bulgaria. Last year he organised orthogonal: international forum for non-objective art. Apart from an exhibition, the event included a number of documentary screenings and lectures which aimed at increasing the popularity of non-objective art in Bulgaria.











Exhibition of the BAZA Award for contemporary art nominees: Dimitar Solakov, Emilian Lalev, Iskra Blagoeva, Kiril Kuzmanov, Nikolay Zanev, Sasho Popovski, Stela Vasileva, Zoran Georgiev
Curator: Daniela Radeva

18 June 2013 - 14 July 2013
opening: June 18 (Tuesday), 6 pm

Sofia City Art Gallery and Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia together with: Foundation for a Civil Society, New York and Young Visual Artists Awards present Exhibition of the BAZA Award for contemporary art nominees.

The BAZA award for contemporary art is a part of the competition network Young Visual Artists Awards (yvaa.net), held yearly in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. The connection between the separate competitions is established by the Foundation for a Civil Society in New York, which provides the awards – a six-week creative residency in New York for one artist from each country. Each of the national competitions has its own name, schedule and managing art institution. Author of the name BAZA and initiator of the award itself is Maria Vassileva. The Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia (ica-sofia.org) is responsible for the realization of the competition and organizes it together with the Sofia City Art Gallery.

The award winner’s stay in New York comprises becoming acquainted with the art scene and art life, meetings with curators and colleagues. The artists have working studios at their disposal as well as the opportunity to organize an exhibition in the space of the International Studio and Curatorial Program (iscp-nyc.org).
The BAZA award winners so far are: Rada Boukova (2008), Samuil Stoyanov (2009), Anton Terziev (2010), Vikenti Komitski (2011) and Leda Ekimova (2012).

The selection of the award winner is made by jury of well-established painters, curators and representatives of art institutions. In 2013 members of the jury are: Maria Vassileva (curator, chief curator of the Sofia City Art Gallery), Iara Boubnova (curator, director of ICA-Sofia), Nedko Solakov (artist), Boris Missirkov (photographer), Georgi Bogdanov (photographer), Olivier Boissiere (contemporary art collector), Sara Reisman (curator, Vilcek Foundation Fellow). Besides joining the jury for the second stage of the competition, the visit of Sara Reisman aims for becoming acquainted with the modern Bulgarian art scene.

In the upcoming exhibition the eight 2013 nominees will present predominantly new projects. For Zoran Georgiev and Kiril Kuzmanov this is the second nomination for the BAZA award. Their works of art as well as the ones of Iskra Blagoeva, Stela Vasileva, Nikolay Zanev, and Dimitar Solakov are already popular with the public. Emilian Lalev and Sasho Popovski exhibit for the first time. Within the exhibition the authors will display objects, installations, paintings, drawings and video.

The BAZA award winner for 2013 is Kiril Kuzmanov.


Zlatyu Boyadjiev Baratsite, 1964 oil on canvas, 196 ő 136 cm “Boyan Radev“ Collection

Zlatyu Boyadjiev In the Field (After the Plowing is Done), 1942 oil on canvas, 145 ő 200 cm “Nikola Petrov“ Vidin City Art Gallery

Zlatyu Boyadjiev Livestock Herders, 1968 oil on canvas, 198 ő 138 cm “Petko Zadgorski“ Burgas City Art Gallery

Vassil Barakov Town of Melnik, 1982 oil on canvas, 85 ő 104 cm “Iliya Beshkov“ Pleven City Art Gallery

David Peretz Olive Grove, 1956 oil on canvas, 81 ő 100 cm Sofia City Art Gallery


Zlatyu Bpyadjiev and Baratsite
Exhibition dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the birth of Zlatyu Boyadjiev

13 June 2013 - 1 September 2013
Opening June 12, Wednesday, 6 pm

Zlatyu Boyadjiev and Baratsite is an exhibition organized by Sofia City Art Gallery and Art Gallery - Plovdiv. It consists of two parts - the first one includes iconic works by Zlatyu Boyadjiev from different periods, and the second is dedicated to his friendship with Vassil Barakov and David Peretz - the three known as Baratsite, tracking their common path in arts, as well as the personal development of each of them.

Zlatyu Boyadjiev will draw hundreds of compositions, portraits and landscapes in his creative life, marked by a watershed - the paralysis that determined his biography as an artist. So his work is divided into two periods. The first is characterized by the classic manner of composition, and in the picturesque building up is felt the influence of the Impressionists, of Renaissance masters and old icons, but the themes are always bound by Bulgarian nature, the small town and the village, with life in them. In the second period, when he began painting with his left hand, the style of the artist changed dramatically in the direction of imagery, including dozens of figures in the compositions and colours and expressive brushstrokes. His works acquired pronounced expressiveness and dramaticism. Some of them attract with their enjoyable story, while others are filled with bizarre characters, often as a disguise of symbolic meaning.

Fate made the three future artists meet in Plovdiv, where they had their first steps in art. That road started from drawing in the ruins of Kurshum Khan tavern, from the sign drawing company, the Academy of Arts, and their common lodging in Sofia, to take them out on the trails of the Rhodope mountains. Barakov, Boyadjiev and Peretz discovered their artistic means in this soft and beautiful mountain that attracted them
for years. And while the generation of Bulgarian landscape artists before them found beauty in old houses, their yards and alleys, it was Baratsite who discovered the Rhodope mountains for Bulgarian art as a plastic and sign image. The landscape in

the works of Boyadjiev, Barakov and Peretz is not just a beautiful view, but a specific creative attitude and mindset, depending on the purely subjective standpoint and feeling of the author.
Massive arrays, deep valleys, Rhodope style houses, curved paths, people and animals that inhabit them - they all possess the integrity and the forms that excited the three artists. They were attracted by the power of the mountain, its primary materiality, by the animate and the inanimate in it. The three artists, slowly over the decades, will walk their path from the Rhodope landscapes, through still lifes, figure compositions and portraits.
Peretz will create amazing landscapes and still life, turning them into high art. Over the years, he will go through figure composition with the means of synthetic expressive realism, reaching lyrical abstraction and progressively destructuring the image.
Barakov will be creative in still-life and portraits, but in all his works his preference will remain for the landscape genre. The artist’s early landscapes were expressive, with marked relief, saturated colour and dense texture, without minor details, but with synthetically achieved and simply expressed form. He was one of the first Bulgarian artists who developed industrial landscape. At a later stage Barakov created paintings, impressionistic in spirit.

So Zlatyu Boyadjiev, Vadsil Barakov and David Peretz subscribed to the history of Bulgarian art with the common direction in their young age, their personal individual contribution over the decades, and they remained forever linked by their students’ nickname Baratsite.

On the occasion of the exhibition was issued a bilingual (Bulgarian and English) catalogue of 100 pages with 114 reproductions, a comprehensive biography of Zlatyu Boyadjiev and a complete bibliography of the three artists.

The exhibition was organized with the collaboration of the Art Galleries in: Burgas, Varna, Vidin, Gabrovo, Dobrich, Kazanlak, Lovech, Pazardjik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Ruse, Sliven, Smolyan and Stara Zagora, as well as the Academician Svetlin Rusev, the National Art Gallery, the Boyan Radev collection, the State Agency of archives, the Municipal Institute Ancient Plovdiv, the National Library in Plovdiv, The National Library Ivan Vazov - Plovdiv, section Local History, the Regional State Archives - Plovdiv, the Regional Museum of History in Blagoevgrad, The organization of Jews in Bulgaria - Shalom.

After Sofia, the exhibition will be shown in the Art Galleries of Plovdiv and Stara Zagora.









Paper Art Biennial 2013

17 May 2013 - 2 June 2013

The exhibition is among the events featured in the Second Paper Art Biennial, held within the framework of the Sofia Paper Art Festival 2013. The biennial’s current edition, comprised of 19 exhibitions in various Sofia venues, has broad international representation.

The selection of artworks, exhibited under the “Messages of Light” motto, high-lights the specifics of paper art from the vantage point of various traditions and cultures around the world. With its fragile structure, which is a combination of primeness and exquisiteness, delicacy and playfulness, elegance and grotesqueness, mundaneness and magic, paper is a material affording artists countless opportunities for creative reconsideration of the world. Many of the artworks were developed as nature forms, others feature elements of script, folklore traditions, poetic confessions. This involved the use of various manual paper-casting technologies, as well as of recycled and scrap paper. The imagination and artistic freedom paper is approached with by artists transform the mundane everyday material into a delicate spiritual message.

The exhibition features 27 artworks by 13 artists: Harald Metzler - Austria, Eva Toker - Argentina, Gail Stiffe and Jassica Wong - Australia, Irene Rammensee and Helene Tschacher – Germany, Sun Young Kang - Korea, Veroniquies Sapin – France, Yoshio Hasegawa – Japan, Ferry Staverman – the Netherlands, Magda Sobon – Poland, Aidee Bernard – France and Kathrin Dardel – Switzerland.

Most of the artists participating in the exhibition are members of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists (IAPMA). Many of them came to our country specifically for the festival and the presentations included in its programme. Helene Tschacher was a long-time president of the association, while annual paper art congresses help promote successfully new trends in this kind of art.

Two presentations will be delivered at the Sofia City Art Gallery-hosted exhibition: one devoted to recycled paper and its products, introducing new trends in the cre-ation of various constructions, and a lecture entitled “Paper in China” to be deliv-ered by Liu Ian Gracely, curator of international sculpture events.









Petko Bonchev - 90 years from his birth

10 May 2013 - 9 May 2013

The jubilee exhibition organized in SCAG traces precisely the essential directions of exploration and evolution in the artistic trajectory of Petko Bonchev.

The exposition brings forth a rich and diverse creative heritage that seems engaged in equal measures in cinematographic stage design, in small sculpture and in painting.
Having initially chosen architecture in 1952 Petko Bonchev graduates from the State School of Polytechnics in Sofia to be able two years only later to find a home in the world of cinema. He gets employed in the Boyana Feature Films Studio and his allegiance to this institution will last a lifetime. There he will work as Production Designer on such films as The Inspector and the Night (1963), A Bit of Heaven for Three (1965), Karambol (1966), Taste of Almonds (1967), The Prosecutor (1968), The White Room (1968), At Each Kilometer (1969 – 1971), Typhoons with Gentle Names (1979), I Don’t Live One Life Only (Nikolai Ghiaurov 50) (1981), Salvation (1984) and others. And while designing this roll of battle epics for the silver screen, Petko Bonchev will be methodically creating an intimately personal poetic realm of images – paintings and small sculptures.
This exquisite heritage of the artist, which he himself revealed in a few solo exhibitions before his death remains insufficiently explored and unfamiliar to the public. The present exhibition in the SCAG offers the opportunity to perceive Petko Bonchev from a specific point of view that by all evidence makes it possible to recognize in the small sculptures the symbiosis between production design and painting and the seamless fusion of expressive means that transform the movie frame into a painting and infuse the painting with the vitality of a cinema scene.

The exhibition includes works from the fund of the SCAG and private collections, as well as photographic testimonials from the Photographic Archive of the Bulgarian National Cinematheque.

The exposed photos are the work of: Irina Peeva, Donka Jolova, Lothe Mihailova, Krum Kostov, Jeni Vulova, Georgi Rusinov, Elena Dimitrova, Mladen Chavdarov, Krassimir Arabadjiev, Lena Hurtarska, Todor Kostov, Kornelia Antonova, Nikolai Gospodinov.

The Exhibition is created in partnership with the Bulgarian National Cinematheque, the National Film Center Executive Agency, the Artist Author Association, the Music Author Association.













(the Gallery façade overlooking the City Garden)

6 May 2013 - 7 May 2013

Writer Georgi Tenev’s project “A Monument of My Memory” offers an archival and biographical reading of a specific historical fact and the way it is perceived today. It represents 200 photo reproductions of commemorative plaques with the names of Bulgarian soldiers and officers having died in the two Balkan Wars and World War One (1912-1913).

Through the years, the fate of these plaques has been unenviable. They were parts of a memorial which existed in the vicinity of what is today the National Palace of Culture. The monument with the roll of honour of Sofia’s 1st Infantry and Veliko Tarnovo’s 6th Infantry was damaged during the 1944 bombing raids and was completely removed in the 1970s during the construction of the Palace of Culture and the development of the surrounding area. The rolls of honour have been preserved in the repositories of the National Museum of Military History, but all attempts and initiatives over the past 20 years aimed at restoring the monument in one way or another have been unsuccessful.

The putting up of these photo reproductions coincides with the centenary of the wars in which Bulgarian soldiers and officers gave their lives, and with the 75th anniversary of the inauguration of the original Roll of Honour Memorial.

Georgi Tenev has implemented this project jointly with sculptors Natalia Todorova, Ivana Nencheva and Iliya Novachev, designer Gars, photographers Krassimir Stoichkov and Petar Yordanov and film director Lyubomir Pechev.


THE INEXORABLE NATURE OF THE RENAISSANCE Renaissance - because before it was just the canon (2012, 4’32’’, mini DV on DVD, color, sound)

THE IRRESISTIBLE CHARM OF IMPRESSIONISM Impressionism – because of the secret longings of the 1980s (among artistic circles in Sofia) for "the decadent bourgeois culture" (2013, 4’25’’, mini DV on DVD, color, sound)

THE IRREFUTABLE ARGUMENT OF CONCEPTUALISM Conceptualism - because it is still alive (2013, 0’48’’, mini DV on DVD, color, sound)

BURDEN (2013, 6’, mini DV on DVD, color, sound)

ELUSIVE IMAGES (2012, 5’45’’, mini DV on DVD, color, sound)


Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova
FRAMES (on the freedom that we can afford, or we can restrict in expressing through images)

1 May 2013 - 12 May 2013

The video installation FRAMES includes 6 projections dedicated to various visual and social limitations. In three of her videos: The Inexorable Nature of the Renaissance, The Irresistible Charm of Impressionism and The Irrefutable Argument of Conceptualism (created in 2012–2013), the artist comments upon trends in visual art, namely Renaissance, Impressionism and Conceptualism, posing unambiguous questions about the potential liberties and limitations of each one of them. She adds to them the 2005 work Talk, which is actually a spontaneously recorded conversation between artists about some of the most prominent names in the history of painting.

A counterpoint to the above is the video Burden, where the artist tells a personal story from her childhood – the time when aesthetical preferences are shaped together with a system of views pertaining to one’s overall perception of the world.

In Elusive Images (2012), within the framework of five minutes and 45 seconds, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova offers us her vision of the surrounding world, evidently shaped by all opportunities and limitations considered until that moment. Visual layering and the acquired social experience contribute to a multifaceted and well-rounded view. Hence the diverse “readings“ of the world, which resemble image layering in a video.

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Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova was born in 1960 in Sofia, where she works and lives. The artist is known for her ability to “capture“ and re-create the most delicate, frequently invisible, states of objects, people and human interrelations. Her ability to notice what others fail to see, to discern the nuances even in the most everyday situation and the most ordinary event places her among the most sensitive contemporary artists. Her more prominent solo exhibitions include: eco stories, Sklada+, Sofia, 2011; Globally and on a Long-term Basis the Situation Is Positive, Sofia City Art Gallery, 2009, Moderate Optimism, 6 September Street, No.9, Sofia, 2008; Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Centre for Contemporary Art, Pancevo, Serbia, 2008; The Lions of Sofia, Artists' Association fabs, Warsaw, Poland, 2006 and the Goethe Institute, Sofia, 2005; Vanitas, Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan, 2004. She is the winner of the Gaudenz B. Ruf Award for 2009.


Boryana Rossa and Oleg Mavromatti. Robot, Revolucia, Onanism!, 2004, series of 3, print on canvas, 180 x 144 cm

Georgi Bayev. Apocalypse now, oil on fiberboard, 120 x 100 cm

Boris Pramatarov. Society, 2012, ink on paper, 44 ő 28 cm

Nikolai Maistorov. A Dream of Mine, Or, an Attempt at Flying, 1983, casein on canvas, 165 ő 269 cm

Ivan Markvichka (Jan Václav Mrkvička). Portrait of a Child, oil on canvas, 105 ő 81 cm


The Other Eye Project: Gorgons in the Storage Room, or, Apocalypse Now
Curators: Ani Vaseva, Boryana Rossa, Monika Vakarelova

30 April 2013 - 2 June 2013

“The Other Eye” is a series of exhibitions by the idea of Maria Vassileva, where non-art historians and non-curators are invited to work with the Sofia City Art Gallery museum collection. The project aims to look beyond traditional interpretations of history and, possibly, “unearth” somewhat forgotten works, and also trace new links connecting the latter.
The Other Eye project is designed to fight precisely the inertia in viewing and interpreting. It includes in the dialogue with museum exhibits people who exercise their imaginations in other cultural fields or who are not burdened with narrow specialized knowledge. We rely on their fresh gaze to offer us surprising discoveries and to build new contexts for familiar works.
The first exhibition under this project, Luchezar Boyadjiev: Artist in the Storage (2010), took us through an installation labyrinth built on the basis of intimate, friendly, collegial and official relationships between generations of artists, relationships that have interwoven their works into a canvas of invisible, but definitive for their oeuvre, dialogues. Through the personal gaze of someone who is part of this amalgam of intrigues and emotions situated on a small visible territory, Luchezar Boyadjiev drew a tale about different times and storylines running uninterruptedly through them. In Out of Time (2011), the philosopher Boyan Manchev countered his own expectation of discovering in the collection primarily grand historical subjects and ideological narratives. Conversely, he found a harmonious balance between “private/public, everyday/holiday, human/inhuman, coercion/freedom, ideological utopia/idyllic utopia” and devoted his study to the specific, purely artistic time that seems to overcome historical time.
Ani Vaseva, Boryana Rossa and Monika Vakarelova juxtapose different views and perceptions about the collection which, albeit conflicting at first sight, find multiple points of intersection. Their gaze moves between the drama of the bleak reality and the timelessness of the reality that-may-have-been, between expectation and action, between the existent and the non-existent; it explores the storage rooms and tries to discover works with a “dual foundation” (as Ani Vaseva puts it). The world of art is made up of many worlds – as, in fact, is life itself. Ani, Boryana and Monika mark a territory of their own over the decades and offer it to us as one of the many possible routes through time and space.
The exhibition features approximately one hundred works by artists from different eras and trends from the late 19th century to the present day, performed in various techniques - painting, graphics, sculpture, photography, video, object. Among the authors are Georgi Danchov, Ivan Mrkvicka, Andrey Nikolov, Tsanko Lavrenov, Pencho Balkanski, Veselin Staikov, Binka Vazova, Stefan Gatsev, Georgi Baev, Lika Yanko, Vassil Simittchiev, Stanislav Pamukchiev, Margarita Pueva, Edmond Demirdjian, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Ivan Moudov, Stefaniia Batoeva and others.
A catalog was published in Bulgarian and English.

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Ani Vaseva (born in Sofia in 1982) is a playwright and theatre director. Her productions include the radio play Sick (2010), A Dying Play (2010), Frankenstein (2012), The Alleater (2012) and Meteor (2013; all in Bulgarian). Co-founder of METHEOR.

Boryana Rossa (born in Sofia in 1972) is an interdisciplinary artist and curator who works in the fields of performance, film, photography and digital arts, as well as on her own curatorial projects. Together with Oleg Mavromatti, she co-founded the ULTRAFUTURO group in 2004. She teaches at the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University, New York.

Monika Vakarelova (born in Sofia in 1987) is a doctoral student at Sofia University’s Department of History and Theory of Culture. Her research is in the field of cultural history of modernity, and her present interests are related to images and imageless events.


Alexander Bozhinov 1878-1968, Flowers

Eliezer Alsheh, 1908-1983", Landscape with boats

Genko Genkov 1923-2006, Landscape of Pancharevo



Dechko Uzunov, 1899-1986, Nude


Artworks from the SCAG collection

19 March 2013 - 28 April 2013

Watercolor artworks have a prominent place of their own in the SCAG collection. Loved and perfected by many Bulgarian artists, the watercolor technique has a peculiar charm and ability to captivate. Watercolor artworks, whether they are spontaneous light sketches or artfully designed fully completed works, whether they are portraits, landscapes, compositions or artistic impressions, captivate the viewer with their spontaneity and poeticism.

Known from as early as antiquity, watercolor painting developed in China after the invention of paper, becoming popular around Europe significantly later. The precursor of the watercolor technique is painting on freshly applied plaster /fresco painting/, whose effect is similar to that of watercolor. Initially, watercolor was used in European painting as an ancillary technique for the preparation of sketches, drafts or quick drawings. It was as late as the 18th – 19th century that watercolor became an independent art form. Watercolor’s intrinsic lightness and exquisiteness, the rich potential for a variety of effects – from the artist barely touching the paper through to deep colorful layering, make it the technique of choice for many artists.

The SCAG exhibition features 80 watercolor artworks. Without claiming to present a thorough chronological timeline, the exhibition follows the development of the watercolor technique in Bulgarian art, starting from the late 19th century through to the late 20th century. Alongside the early notable works from the SCAG collection by Josef Oberbauer, Georgi Kanela or Yaroslav Veshin, the exhibition focuses on the most prominent Bulgarian watercolor masters – Nikola Marinov, Constantine Starkelov, Yordan Geshev, Dechko Uzunov, Vasil Stoilov, etc. Works by a number of artists such as Genko Genkov, Simeon Venov, Vasil Chakarov, Alexander Poplilov, Vasil Valev, Lyuben Zidarov, Thomas Kochev, Mihail Deyanov, Nenko Tokmakchiev, Zahari Kamenov, Nina Kovacheva, etc. provide an idea of the various approaches and styles adopted between the mid-20th and the late 20th century, revealing the rich expressive potential and poetic beauty of watercolor painting.













Youlian Tabakov

14 March 2013 - 21 April 2013
Screenings: Tuesday-Saturday - 11.30 am and 3.30 pm; Sunday - 2 pm and 4 pm

TZVETANKA is a poetic film about the history of twentieth-century Bulgaria as seen through the eyes of Dr. Tzvetanka Gosheva and her incredible life story.

Born into a wealthy family, Tzvetanka’s childhood dream was to become an actress, yet Bulgaria’s twentieth-century history causes her fate to radically change. What makes the twentieth century a unique period in Bulgaria’s history are the abrupt transitions from monarchy to communism and then to democracy. As one age is transformed into another, so are transformed the country and the people living in it.

“Tzvetanka” is the story of my grandmother, who witnessed these three periods in Bulgaria’s history. Her life provides an insight into the life of our contemporaries, our society and our country.” Youlian Tabakov, film director and creator of the exhibition.

The exhibition includes a presentation of the film “Tzvetanka“ (Youlian Tabakov, writer/ director, Adam Nilson, director of photography, Morten Nilsen, Martichka Bozhilova, producers), large format photographs and scenography-related material.

Youlian Tabakov is an internationally acclaimed young artist, having taken numerous specialization courses in Bulgaria and abroad. He has worked extensively with theater and film directors of high European caliber, all of whom contributed to the creation of the artwork’s visual concept, comprehensiveness and focus of perception. Drawing on his extensive experience as an artist, sculptor and scenographer, he got involved with leading film directors as a collaborator and conceptualist, also creating successful theater and film projects of his own.


Angel Stanev, In Memory of Konstantin Pavlov

Desislava Deneva, The Beginning and...

Ivan Ninov, Shape

Kiril Meskin, Genesis

Nelly Hristva, My Lisa


National Competition for painting, sculpture and graphics

12 March 2013 - 21 April 2013

The Allianz Bulgaria-supported National Painting, Graphic Arts, and Sculpture competition was launched in 2008 as a biennial event. There have been three competitions in the last five years, followed by a total of 21 exhibitions, featuring more than 3, 000 artworks, held in various cities.

The event aims to promote the creation of new artworks, as well as to follow the development of painting, sculpture, and graphic arts throughout the period 2008 – 2013. Some of the artworks were also exhibited abroad, namely in Munich, Prague, and Košice.

Grand prize winners include Dimitar Cholakov, Angel Stanev, Veliko Marinchevski, Desislava Deneva, Emanuela Kovach, Nelly Hristova, Zhivka Marinova, Cyril Meskin and Ivan Ninov.

Competition catalogues were available at all three of the competitions held so far.

The SCAG-hosted exhibition presents fifty four award winners from the three competitions held so far. Artworks belong to Allianz Bulgaria.


Petko Klissourov, The artist's chilldren,1905

Ivan Getsov, St Nedelya Church, 1942

Kiril Boyukliyski, Song of the Motherland, 1952

Atanas Yaranov, Pieta, 1975

Luchezar Boyadjiev, Hot City Visual ( Visual Iregularrity ), 2003


A POSSIBLE HISTORY.Bulgarian Art Through the Sofia City Art Gallery Collection
The exhibition is dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the foundation of of the Sofia City Art Gallery as an independent institution

12 September 2012 - 2 March 2013

This project is an attempt to present, both visually and theoretically, the development of Bulgarian art from the late 19th century through the present day. The visual aspect of the exhibition involves the artifacts belonging to the museum collection, while the theoretical component comprises texts analyzing artistic developments. The study of the latter was structured as follows: analysis of six periods with five sub-themes each. Prominent Bulgarian art historians, namely Irina Genova, Tatiana Dimitrova, Chavdar Popov, Boris Danailov, Diana Popova and Maria Vassileva, were invited to research developments in Bulgarian art based on the gallery’s collection and consequently offer their reviews. The individual parts of the study comprise a comprehensive view of history from a modern vantage point. Each period and its sub-themes reveal the most significant aspects of their time. The project, comprising an exhibition and an exhibition catalogue, is highly educational, as it aims to make a clear, user-friendly outline of major tendencies and trends.

The exhibition elaborates on issues, which were either never brought up before, or were presented outside the context of their time and the overall logic of artistic developments. Examples include early 20th century themes such as interest in the Orient or salon portraiture, as well as the development of art from the early 1950’s through the mid-1950’s. The project is an attempt to view art history from all sides in order to challenge stereotypical perceptions or ideology-based interpretation of artworks and offer a modern viewpoint that is as objective as it is possible.

The study is based on the museum’s collection, whose scope and comprehensiveness allow such a broad view of history. The collection, which dates back over 80 years, now features more than 8, 000 artworks, belonging to the genres of painting, sculpture, graphic art, contemporary art and photography. Its building is related to the overall development of modern Bulgarian art, which went a long way within a century, namely between the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule (1878) and the early 21st century, going through various intensive processes of initiation, institutionalization, and recognition. This development was marked by change and reconsideration of values, prompted by various art-related and political factors, namely the willingness to measure up to European art and culture and build a tradition, which would create a sense of history and thus contribute to the social significance of art. "

"A Possible History“exhibition offers an interpretation of Bulgarian art history through the gallery’s collection, as the latter features various, and unique, unknown and emblematic artworks and names, which have a prominent place in the development of Bulgarian art. This new project and study concerning the art collection of the Sofia City Art Gallery do not only aim to contribute to the already voluminous body of research, exploring the collection’s beauty, richness and significance. This exhibition and study offer a chronological outline, as well as a comparison of styles and themes, which reveals the points of intersection between the views of various artists, associations of artists, and artistic trends. Thus the exhibition and the study related to it consider various trends in the history of Bulgarian art over the period between 1878 and 2012, which came to interact with one another, while taking turns at the dominant position in the course of the decades.

The 200-page exhibition catalogue features 300 reproductions and texts in Bulgarian and English.

The “Vaska Emanouilova” Gallery, which is a branch of the Sofia City Art Gallery, also came up with new permanent exhibits. Vaska Emanouilova’s art was considered and presented chronologically through her work, as well as by photographs, documents and the accounts of renowned art historians and fellow artists.

The “Possible History“ exhibition was made possible with kind support from the Ministry of Culture, the Sofia Municipality, OGNYANOVO K Plc.,PLENA Group Company, METROREKLAMA, CEZ- Bulgaria, REOFIX SMLLC and in media partnership with the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio.